The two speeds of the concrete sector

On the one hand the list of products that his friend Luigi Coppola recalled on Radio 24, such as “eat pollution ” concrete, “draining ” concrete , ” Ultra High Performance Fiber Renforced Concrete “, “self-repairing ” concrete , the concrete “transparent “, the concrete “floating ” the concrete “photoluminescent ” the concrete “3D printing “, … and the presence of some of these materials to the latest editions of the Milan Design Week, of the Italy pavilions in the last two Expo, and on the other a productive sector where plants continue to exist – and unfortunately not in a limited number – with average productions that approach the thousand monthly cubic meters, without internal technical control, little maintenance, with probes now set and disconnected from automation, automations often “modifiable”, non-selected aggregates, FPC certificates expired or obtained from short-sighted organisms in inspections, truck mixers with barrels in which there are blade residues.

These are the two speeds of the concrete sector
and the gap becomes wider and wider between an offer of increasingly smarter, more sustainable, more specialized concretes and a market that tends to everyday construction sites, not those of the changing Milan, not those of designer buildings, to maintain a strong attention to the price and to the discount rather than to the qualification of the supplier, to the evaluation of its ability to supply a concrete capable of satisfying the durability and performance requirements that the work requires.

It is an elastic that stretches, and which is bound on the one hand by a lack of rules, but of real respect for them , not technologies, but a lack of their request.

Unfortunately, we continue to be the country in which concrete is often dosed in the plant but then mixed into a truck mixer which is often not even owned by those who are formally the manufacturer of that material, to be the country where it is not possible. make a list of active concrete producers because it is not clear if the list of FPC certified plants is updated, to be the country in which the choice to close, or rather to seal, the mixer tap water voluntarily remains on top to the concrete supplier and is not imposed by law.

And if you try to put a minimum of filter to this situation you fall into the risks of antitrust sanctions, because in Italy, too often, the control regards not those who drag downwards but those who would like to point upwards.

What are the ways to reduce this gap then?

Quality passes through cultural growth
andrea-dari.gifWhile it is important to continue, on the part of the supply chain, to support technological innovation and its application in construction; on the other hand it is essential to increase the awareness on the part of professionals, or those who design and prepare the specifications.

The choice of products is not enough, we must also focus on the choice of suppliers. And this choice goes through the requirements that a professional can put in the specifications: requirements that can therefore concern not only the mechanical performance and workability, as has been done for years now, but also of special performances, such as waterproofing, or absorption of pollutants, or self-repair, of drainability … but also of controls during the initial qualification phase, and not only of casting … but also of evaluation of the supplier, such as, for example, a preverification of the plant and its characteristics as well of the supplier organization.

It is necessary that the virtuous experience of Italferr and High Speed ​​become in all respects the basis for the prescription of the future. Those who invest in maintenance, those who invest in sustainable plants, those who invest in controls, those who invest in organizations, those who invest in process automation are not afraid of a more selective market, indeed, it is for this market that is focusing on products with a higher rate. of specialization and technology. But these companies, which may be small, medium or large, fear, indeed they suffer, exactly the opposite: not the selection, but the lack of selection, the lack of a widespread culture of quality

The road remains clean not only if we have a municipality that organizes the activities of collection and cleaning as well as possible, but also if there is a system of control and sanction against those who dirty that road, and especially if there is a correct mentality on the part of the citizen, who does not use the sidewalk as a bin for his cigarette butts or his papers.

In the same way our reinforced concrete works will be more reliable and durable not only if the supply chain will be able to study products of increasing technological value, but even if the same supply chain will be able to supply them diffusely and correctly and, above all, if whoever he has the responsibility to prescribe them and to control them will have acquired the attention that is such to make, in fact, a natural upward selection of supply and demand.

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